"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

Book Openers

As a little kid I always had my nose in a book. And now that I'm thoroughly grown up, I still do. Below you'll find author profiles (lots of memoirists) as well as mini – and not-so-mini – book reviews.

‘Dog Medicine’ — A Dog-Lover’s Journey From Depression to Health

Cover of "Dog Medicine," a memoir by Julie Barton, Think Piece Press, 2015.

Cover photo by Bev Sparks

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

“I hope you’ll see yourself in this book,” Julie Barton writes in the prologue to her new memoir “Dog Medicine.”

No, I don’t see myself in this book. I don’t have depression, not the major type anyway. My brothers didn’t beat me up as a kid. And I’m not crazy about dogs. But I am [Read more…]


Atticus Finch — Meet Mother Emanuel

My copy of "Go Set a Watchman" on the counter of my local bookstore. Atticus Finch  story. Photo by Barbara Newhall

My copy of “Go Set a Watchman” on the counter of my local bookstore today. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I haven’t even cracked open my brand-new copy of Go Set a Watchman. But already I’ve got opinions.

For months now, I’ve been looking forward to taking a look at the long-lost book that was the original version of Harper Lee’s famous, much-loved, much-read [Read more…]


Two California Poets: One Romantic, the Other Not So Much

California poets, Rebecca Foust, author of "Paradise Drive:  Poems," spoke at Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera, CA, in 2015. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Rebecca Foust read from “Paradise Drive: Poems,”at Book Passage Corte Madera. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Ina Coolbrith palled around San Francisco with the likes of Mark Twain, Jack London and Bret Harte. Rebecca Foust hangs out with PTA moms. Coolbrith was a denizen of the 19th century. Foust is alive and well right here in the 21st century. Coolbrith was a romantic. [Read more…]


Jeff Greenwald and Kevin Griffin — A Funny Buddhist and a Happy One

Jeff Greenwald read from his book at Book Passage bookstore in Corte Madera

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

One of the nice things about being a writer is that you wind up with lots of writer friends and acquaintances — poets, memoirists, biographers, sages, humorists. And it’s always a pleasure to talk about their books.

Today I’d like to introduce two students of Buddhism. The first is Jeff Greenwald, author, storyteller, traveller, and master of the upstart art of finding God funny. The [Read more…]


Armistead Maupin: The Man Who Wrote the Quintessential San Francisco Novel — On a Newspaper Deadline


Tales of the City author Armistead Maupin reads from "The Days of Ana Madrigal" at Book Passage, SF Ferry Building

Armistead Maupin at Book Passage on Tuesday — as witty and kind and generous with his fans as he was with his San Francisco Chronicle co-workers. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Armistead Maupin’s assignment was to show up at the offices of the San Francisco Chronicle every weekday morning and produce seven hundred words, give or take. But unlike most newspaper journalists, Army did not sit  down to his Selectric typewriter fortified with a reporter’s notebook fat with stats and quotes. [Read more…]